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Guide To A Perfect Safety Score for the FSD Beta Queue, or Tesla Insurance reasons. (Whether you like it or not)


There is no TLDR; when it comes to this. there is no one piece of advice. If you're interested, please give my experience and advice a read.

I've seen many, many, many, people complain about the safety score program. and most of the time, it's due to just not understanding the process required to do well. Hopefully this helps people and they don't just argue like everyone seems to love. I've now driven 21,500 miles with a safety score since opting in 1/5/22. My first month of learning my car and the score system, I had a 97. As scores rolled off, In the second month, I hit 100 and it's been basically perfect since. So If everyone wants to argue, my score is my response.

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 2.08.26 PM.png


There are important things to remember.

The Safety Score process is training you for FSD beta, and to be the type of driver they want testing the beta. Not everything it considers good/bad, is what WE would consider good/bad driving.

If you're going to get a single thing from reading this, let it be this:
The 3 second window after disengaging AP/NoA is your best friend. Your score is NOT impacted for those 3 seconds. This is what allows you to pass other cars without worry of a FCW, use your brakes if actually needed, and take a turn a little sharper than the system would like if needed. Pressing your brake pedal or tapping up on the stalk disengages everything, and the countdown begins. engage AP before 3 seconds is over if it puts you close to another car ahead of you.
USE IT APPROPRIATELY as is is a valuable tool.


Sign up with Teslascope.com to get better breakdowns like the one above as well as other awesome info. It’s free for a month with the above link, then $3/mo after the trial if you like it. No payment info needed to start a trial. We are all data/information nerds here basically. I’m signed up with multiple services, but they are my favorite.

1. Requirements, that if you dont do, you can't complain about having a bad score. It's on you:

- READ TESLAS SAFETY SCORE FAQ. It's very technical, but important to attempt to understand.
- NEVER use TACC (Single stalk press), only use AP (Double stalk press).
- Turn on stop sign and stop light control.
- Turn on auto lane change without confirmation (Where possible)
- Set your forward collision warning to medium. this is what the system uses.
- If there are no lane lines on the edges of the road, or a non-solid shoulder, this becomes harder. use AP less.
- TRUST YOUR CAR and be ready to take over
- The goal is to let your car drive as much as possible. 90%+ of my drives are on AP/NoA. Aim for that %.

Everything can ding your score while using TACC, even though logically, letting the car control the speed should be counted as the car driving, not you... it is what it is. TACC brakes harder than you're allowed to (Especially if you have stop sign and stop light recognition turned on), and TACC can follow too closely over 50mph even at max following distance.
2. Hard Braking-

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 1.22.01 PM.png


This weighs heavily on your score. do NOT neglect this. It is hard to fix on the same drive where you knew you screwed up. Fixing this requires manual braking multiple times during your drive, and knowing very well, what your car considers hard braking.

The main culprits are yellow lights or being cut off... just double tap the stalk and engage AP. the car can brake hard and fast for yellow lights without impacting your score, and it has never once failed me or gone through a red light. Trust your car on this. If someone has their blinker on, or their tire crosses over into your alanewhile above 50mph, double tap the stalk, let the car handle it. your score wont be impacted. this is a hard one for people as it really relies on you trusting you vehicle. but give it a chance, and over time you'll get used to it.

ONLY use your brake pedal for fixing your hard braking score. I've never had regenerative braking ding my score, even on the strongest setting.

3. Aggressive turning -

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 1.17.13 PM.png

This takes some practice, but if you dont want to always use AP/NoA, when there is a yellow speed suggestion sign on curves, those signs are generally (90% of the time from my experience) telling you the speed that the road agency's know will cause your car to not go over a certain amount of G forces on the turn. Those speeds are meant for your average vehicle, with bad tires, because people are dumb and dont maintain their cars.Those speeds/G forces, line up with what Tesla says it aggressive turning. It's an interesting technical read if you feel like learning about it. especially on cloverleafs and highway exits Methods for Establishing Advisory Speed .


You should honestly just use NoA to handle exits and curves. it will slow down to the appropriate speed, maybe a little slower, but your score will be protected.

4. Forward Collision Warnings -

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 1.25.54 PM.png


This one is tricky... it's true that every now and then it will think a shadow is threat. or coming over a bit of a hill where it cant see the road curving after, it can go off. that's purely because it only has a split second to decide what's going to happen, and the car plays it safe. That is not really an error in the software. It's a good thing, but not for our scores. This is another reason to use AP or NoA as often as possible... even on city streets with lights and traffic. again, the safety score system is trying to get you used to using AP as much as possible, ready to take over when needed once you have the beta.

If you are accelerating, while someone within ~10 car lengths of you is decelerating, this will go off. AP and NoA are really the only way to avoid this consistently, since even if it goes off, nothing is scored while using AP/NoA

Another huge thing to consider with FCW's is the amount miles you drive as it factors this is as if you drove 1000 miles. If you drive 5 miles in a day, and get a FCW, that is like getting 200 FCW's in 100 miles. Maxing out this number to 101.9 for your day. I drive 150-350 miles a day so if I get a FCW, it usually ends up as a 4-7 for me instead of that 101.9 you would get driving short distances. This makes it very hard to get this number reduced after screwing up since most people drive less than 50 miles a day.

Bottom line with this one, is be hyper aware of cars ahead of you, and cars entering the roadway. stay out of the right lane incase someone brakes hard to go into a parking lot, or almost misses a turn.

Fortunately, these honestly will only take your score down 2-3% if you dont drive a lot. if you drive a lot, it'll take a 100 down to 99. not the end of the world.

Have I mentioned to just always use AP/NoA?

5. Unsafe Following-

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 1.33.56 PM.png


This one is pretty simple once you understand it, and once again, relies on just using AP/NoA. But the key is remembering that it doesnt count until you hit 50MPH. most people get dinged on this at hwy/fwy onramps by not engaging AP until they are on the fwy/hwy in the left lane. I usually engage around 40-45mph on the ramp. Our cars are VERY good at merging into traffic safely. it will speed up or slow down properly, and merge well. it CAN have problems if the lane lines are funky at the point of merging. Sometimes it will put the blinker on and try to go to the next lane over immediately if the fwy/hwy left lane line goes away quickly and the merge section is long, causing you to skip the lane youre merging into. When that's the case, turn your blinker off after your car turns it on, and it'll merge properly.

The struggle here that causes people to complain "The score is broken! I didn't follow closely 30% of my drive blah blah blah," is that the time/% it considers is ONLY when there is actually a car ahead of you, in the 1-3 second range. so if you have a bad following moment, and then there is never a car ahead of you while going >50mph for the rest of your drive, your score is screwed. If you are closely behind someone for 3 seconds, and then at the proper distance for 7 seconds before they are out of your lane or farther ahead of you, then this score is only based on 3 seconds of driving close, out of the 10 seconds total of being a behind that car at a proper distance. Boom. 30% close following for your entire drive. even if you drove 1000 miles.

When driving around 65-80mph, the perfect distance is when on the screens visuallization, the lead car is touching the end of the NoA single path line, or the end of the AP dual path lines. Unsafe following distance changes based on speed, as it should for a person who's driving manually. That line does adjust because the visualization zooms out when going fast, and zooms in when going slow. sometimes its hard to notice this because we don't watch the zoom change while driving. use the line/s.

This ones extremely easy to fix through your drive when you know the maneuver you just did is going to count against you. Follow the end of the lead line rule. purposefully put yourself behind cars to fix your score.

Final Thoughts

The safety score program is not perfect., but it is not hard either once you understand it. It's actually been a really interesting, teaching tool when it comes to me learning the way my car handles and thinks. Also, forcing me to use AP/NoA basically always, has taught me to really trust my car after seeing so many maneuvers I wasn't sure it could handle, being done perfectly.

I'll be happy to update this as I remember more advice... kinda wrote this in a one off spontaneously.

Treat it like a game. Aim for a high score. MAKE it fun. Hopefully they add more of us to the beta program soon, and if you're reading this for Tesla Insurance reason, enjoy the extra cash in your pocket.
 
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Thanks. I'll keep experimenting. I'm probably committing infractions I'm not noticing (although that will make it problematic to correct them :D) I do use the tap up to disengage AP when the car suddenly slows down for unknowable (to me) reasons. Then I reengage it. The issues where I've had to brake or steer suddenly are to keep AP from hitting someone or driving off an exit ramp; so, I'm usually too startled to try disengaging AP first. One thing I will definitely be watching out for using using TACC only. I did not realize that as not counting as being on AP.
TACC is most peoples biggest bad score culprit. its really sort of unnatural to think that you'd be scored with the car controlling your speed and brakes. but it is what it is 🤷‍♂️
 

TomT

Technical Maven
Mar 24, 2014
687
686
NE Georgia
I appreciate the instruction on how to improve the safety score. Although I can't argue with the results, the method doesn't seem to match what I experience. I can't double press the stalk as you describe because I'm already driving with AP engaged during all portions of my work commute where it is possible. The times when I have to rapidly apply brakes or steering are to stop AP from trying to self-immolate twice a week. I have not seen a 3 second grace window as it seems to ding the score every time I have to yank it out of making an invalid lane change, etc.
My experiences mirror yours.
 
“NEVER use TACC (Single stalk press), only use AP (Double stalk press).”. How does this relate to the refresh X with the yoke? I just single click the dial for AP. Should I change that to double tap?
Lol I don’t know how AP is engaged on the yoke. sorry… what terminology do you use? I just mean to say, engage Autopilot (2 blue lines on the nav for city, or 1 blue line for NoA) NOT TACC.
 
Unfortunately its the same score and you cant reset it... some people have said that opting out and opting back in resets it for them, but that was patched long ago and it seems to only work anecdotally. the only way to improve your score is let your bad days roll off the 30 day period.
I just reset my score yesterday.

I opted out and waited for thr safety beta score in the app to disappear. Then I opted back in and the score reset.
 
I just reset my score yesterday.

I opted out and waited for thr safety beta score in the app to disappear. Then I opted back in and the score reset.
Then this is new. That’s been patched for months. I still wouldn’t risk it though. And I consider it pretty wrong when so many of us have gone months of working towards a good score. I hope they raise the minimum miles to counteract that.
 
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Then this is new. That’s been patched for months. I still wouldn’t risk it though. And I consider it pretty wrong when so many of us have gone months of working towards a good score. I hope they raise the minimum miles to counteract that.
Well I barely got the car 2 months ago. Learning what the car expects and what it tolerates as a good score is tedious. You get dinged to braking too hard when a child or individual pops in front of you or if someone cuts you off. The system is so sensitive that trying to keep a good score is downright annoying and takes the fun out of the drive to be honest.

It’s like taking an exam, some individuals will score high because they studied for a long time and earn an A. I can fail the exam, try again after studying or learning better then earn an A myself.

Don’t see the issue with that. If anyone has Been doing good for a while, they are rewarded with being higher in the Q.
 

Ben W

2008 Roadster, 2017 M3, 2022 MY
Feb 27, 2009
757
736
Santa Barbara, CA
Very interesting about the 3-second grace period after disabling Autopilot. However, this seems to only be the case if Autopilot has been engaged for at least 3 seconds before it is disengaged.

I had an incident today where I was driving (not on Autopilot) on a 4-lane road, and saw a truck about to pull into my path about 500 feet ahead. I immediately engaged Autopilot in order for it to absorb the braking / FCW, but to my surprise, Autopilot did not react at all to the truck! So I had to slam on the brakes, disengaging Autopilot (which I would guess was engaged for only about two seconds), and the Safety Score counted the hard braking event against me, lowering my 20-mile drive from a score of 100 to 95. Regrettably, I didn't honk to save the dashcam clip (or save it manually), so it was overwritten.

FWIW I'm using a 512GB thumb drive for dashcam, but it still only saves the last hour of clips in Recents. I wish there were a way to increase that time window!
 
Very interesting about the 3-second grace period after disabling Autopilot. However, this seems to only be the case if Autopilot has been engaged for at least 3 seconds before it is disengaged.

I had an incident today where I was driving (not on Autopilot) on a 4-lane road, and saw a truck about to pull into my path about 500 feet ahead. I immediately engaged Autopilot in order for it to absorb the braking / FCW, but to my surprise, Autopilot did not react at all to the truck! So I had to slam on the brakes, disengaging Autopilot (which I would guess was engaged for only about two seconds), and the Safety Score counted the hard braking event against me, lowering my 20-mile drive from a score of 100 to 95. Regrettably, I didn't honk to save the dashcam clip (or save it manually), so it was overwritten.

FWIW I'm using a 512GB thumb drive for dashcam, but it still only saves the last hour of clips in Recents. I wish there were a way to increase that time window!
Maybe it’s because you disengaged too quickly? I know it doesn’t have to be active for 3 seconds because I use it for yellow lights and being cut off where it brakes the second I engage AP or NoA. But I leave AP on for a while after the fact… That is a situation I’ve never had happen. Interesting case scenario
 
TACC is most peoples biggest bad score culprit. its really sort of unnatural to think that you'd be scored with the car controlling your speed and brakes. but it is what it is 🤷‍♂️
Checking back in on this -- I took a four mile loop drive around my neighborhood; so, pretty much all at 30 MPH. It was all on AP excepting for when I needed to turn a corner. I did two tests on long sections where I could be sure I was clear front and back. First, I swerved hard enough to disengage AP, as if missing a pothole, then immediately reengaged AP. Second, I pressed the brake hard enough to disengage AP, as if I thought someone was going to cut me off, then immediately reengaged. I was "charged" for both offenses. Then, having trashed my score for the day, I drove another loop to mitigate the damage :D
 

ammulder

3,X,FSD Beta
Supporting Member
Apr 11, 2019
1,529
5,947
Philly area
“NEVER use TACC (Single stalk press), only use AP (Double stalk press).”. How does this relate to the refresh X with the yoke? I just single click the dial for AP. Should I change that to double tap?

There's a setting for the refresh X for whether you click once to enable AP (that was the default for me) or click once to engage TACC and a second time to engage AP (the way the Model 3 behaves and what the OP describes). If you have it set to engage AP on one click, there's no need to click a second time, but if you have it set so one click only activates TACC, then you need to click twice to activate AP. The OP's goal is to engage AP in order to let AP do the hard braking or whatever.

Regarding the separate 3 seconds topic, I once had to yank the wheel shortly after I disengaged AP (my fault -- somehow I thought I was doing something that would not disengage it but then after I did it my car steered directly for the upcoming curb instead of following the curve of the road and I realized what I had done and turned hard to stay on the road). I was not "charged" for that, which surely would have been an aggressive turn.
 
Checking back in on this -- I took a four mile loop drive around my neighborhood; so, pretty much all at 30 MPH. It was all on AP excepting for when I needed to turn a corner. I did two tests on long sections where I could be sure I was clear front and back. First, I swerved hard enough to disengage AP, as if missing a pothole, then immediately reengaged AP. Second, I pressed the brake hard enough to disengage AP, as if I thought someone was going to cut me off, then immediately reengaged. I was "charged" for both offenses. Then, having trashed my score for the day, I drove another loop to mitigate the damage :D
Using your steering wheel is not disengaging everything. It only disengages autopilot, not TACC. Both AP and TACC only turn off completely with the brake, or up on the stalk… TACC still counts everything you do. So that’s what dinged your score. Not the braking event after… sorry.

That just proved that TACC, is indeed evil for scoring. Can’t edit my main guide otherwise I’d add that about the steering wheel disengagement.

Also, the moment I disengage, I count to myself “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand”. The window goes by faster than you’d think.

I use the 3 second rule probably 5-10 times a day to pass people and turn quick lol. I just press up to start my countdown. 3 seconds to re-engage AP
 
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FLMan

Member
Supporting Member
Nov 25, 2021
92
54
Florida
OP: My experience is similar to yours. I drive 120 miles a day and use AP for roughly 60% of it and my safety score is 99. I've even taken several trips to Orlando and the dreaded I-4 through Disney and still came back out with a 99 score. I was certain it would drop to 98 or 97 with all that messy driving. :)

I don't drive super-conservative, but I don't play games with the AP either. I have the confirm lane change still enabled and never use the 3 second rule or AP off the highway. I've found stopping at yellow lights to not be much of an issue as long as you keep the deceleration momentum consistent when using the brakes. I've let it roll past the line a couple times (but not into the pedestrian area) to avoid a "hard" stop.

I mostly disable AP when passing or using the left lane as the traffic flow there exceeds the max speed for it. I do stay back from the car ahead, but I've found the sweet spot to keep the score high and yet still keep people from cutting in too often or annoying the people behind me. I never let people tailgate me and move out of their way because AP can brake quickly sometimes, and I don't want to be rear-ended. Sometimes it's not easy and that's probably why I have a 99 and not a 100 because I'll merge into tight traffic to get away from someone tailgating me.

I find driving on the highway with AP to be really smooth especially in heavy traffic. It's gotten better and better with each update this year.

I think I started out with a 95 or something the first week and once I got the hang of the follow distance it's been smooth sailing since then. I saw a post on here that said to set the follow distance to MAX and that's what you need to get a good score. I did that and noted where it follows at various speeds and that's what I try to maintain when not on AP.

I drive enough miles in enough traffic each week to give the scoring something to work with. I always thought the people who had trouble with it were not driving very far each day because I think that would have a big impact on your score.
 
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OP: My experience is similar to yours. I drive 120 miles a day and use AP for roughly 60% of it and my safety score is 99. I've even taken several trips to Orlando and the dreaded I-4 through Disney and still came back out with a 99 score. I was certain it would drop to 98 or 97 with all that messy driving. :)

I don't drive super-conservative, but I don't play games with the AP either. I have the confirm lane change still enabled and never use the 3 second rule or AP off the highway. I've found stopping at yellow lights to not be much of an issue as long as you keep the deceleration momentum consistent when using the brakes. I've let it roll past the line a couple times (but not into the pedestrian area) to avoid a "hard" stop.

I mostly disable AP when passing or using the left lane as the traffic flow there exceeds the max speed for it. I do stay back from the car ahead, but I've found the sweet spot to keep the score high and yet still keep people from cutting in too often or annoying the people behind me. I never let people tailgate me and move out of their way because AP can brake quickly sometimes, and I don't want to be rear-ended. Sometimes it's not easy and that's probably why I have a 99 and not a 100 because I'll merge into tight traffic to get away from someone tailgating me.

I find driving on the highway with AP to be really smooth especially in heavy traffic. It's gotten better and better with each update this year.

I think I started out with a 95 or something the first week and once I got the hang of the follow distance it's been smooth sailing since then. I saw a post on here that said to set the follow distance to MAX and that's what you need to get a good score. I did that and noted where it follows at various speeds and that's what I try to maintain when not on AP.

I drive enough miles in enough traffic each week to give the scoring something to work with. I always thought the people who had trouble with it were not driving very far each day because I think that would have a big impact on your score.
I do drive aggressively, so I thought my guide would be good for those starting out with the score whether it’s for insurance, or the beta, and that think you have to drive like a grandma to get a good score. By now though I could drive with never using AP and keep my 100.

Driving a low amount of miles per day/week does make it really hard to fix a bad score, and dings to your score make a bigger impact for sure. I’ve had forward collision warnings that kept my score at 100 a couple times lol
 
I have some success with setting at max regen and let go of accelerator immediately on any red tail lights in front and coast. I got dinged once on FCW when I happened to press the accelerator at the same time the car in front brakes.

All these actions really make driving unsafe. The Safety score system is really bad, bad, bad.

By the way, I no longer want to have FSD Beta that bad for my model S anymore. The basic FSD Beta setup is really at fault. After 8 months, they have yet to correct the fundamentals of driving on the right side on unmarked roads and not to cut corners on Left turns and not to stop at the middle of a turn against oncoming traffic. All these fundamentals should be there before they are talking about other stuff.

What they got now is garbage in garbage out. The reasons are that there is no way of reporting the above safe driving rules. People muddy along trying to get no disengagements. I can't even get out of my neighborhood with the car keep driving on the middle of the road!! In my area you will not pass the DMV driving test just for that!!

Level 2 driving assist is supposed to relieve the driving stress. But no. All these faulted fundamentals just make it impossible,
 
I have some success with setting at max regen and let go of accelerator immediately on any red tail lights in front and coast. I got dinged once on FCW when I happened to press the accelerator at the same time the car in front brakes.

All these actions really make driving unsafe. The Safety score system is really bad, bad, bad.

By the way, I no longer want to have FSD Beta that bad for my model S anymore. The basic FSD Beta setup is really at fault. After 8 months, they have yet to correct the fundamentals of driving on the right side on unmarked roads and not to cut corners on Left turns and not to stop at the middle of a turn against oncoming traffic. All these fundamentals should be there before they are talking about other stuff.

What they got now is garbage in garbage out. The reasons are that there is no way of reporting the above safe driving rules. People muddy along trying to get no disengagements. I can't even get out of my neighborhood with the car keep driving on the middle of the road!! In my area you will not pass the DMV driving test just for that!!

Level 2 driving assist is supposed to relieve the driving stress. But no. All these faulted fundamentals just make it impossible,
You got a FCW for pressing the accelerator when the person in front of you brakes. Seems correct to me. I literally said that is how it works in the guide, so that means you didn’t read anything. The safety score system is not perfect, but it’s definitely not unsafe or “bad bad bad,” you just don’t get it. Sorry to say.

I drive my car like a performance vehicle. I don’t “muddy along”

Did you just read the title and think this is a perfect place to vent frustration? There’s a lot of threads for that. This thread is for people who want to better their score, not to complain about FSD or complain about their car. You have the beta. This doesn’t apply to you. Wish I could lock this and just have it be something to read.
 
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